Uphilldowndale

Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England


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Time and tide

More from our travels in New Zealand,  November 2019

Had we not spent so long, wining and dining at Fleurs Place, we’d have arrived to see more the famous Moeraki boulders, before the tide came in!

Moeraki Boulders 3

Tide and a bit of rain wasn’t going to deter us though.

A Moeraki boulder wired aren’t they? Even more other worldly when emerging from the ground.

Moeraki Boulders 2

The broken ones reminded me of the contents of an ancient, open packet of Maltesers,   the kind of thing you might find in the back of the glove box in the car.*

NZ Moeraki boulders inside 2

But here is the scientific explanation

concretion is a hard, compact mass of matter formed by the precipitation of mineral cement within the spaces between particles, and is found in sedimentary rock or soil.[1] Concretions are often ovoid or spherical in shape, although irregular shapes also occur. The word ‘concretion’ is derived from the Latin con meaning ‘together’ and crescere meaning ‘to grow’. Concretions form within layers of sedimentary strata that have already been deposited. They usually form early in the burial history of the sediment, before the rest of the sediment is hardened into rock. This concretionary cement often makes the concretion harder and more resistant to weathering than the host stratum.

NZ Moeraki boulders inside

The Maori oral tradition explanation, I understand this one more readily.

Local Māori legends explained the boulders as the remains of eel baskets, calabashes, and kumara washed ashore from the wreck of Arai-te-uru, a large sailing canoe. This legend tells of the rocky shoals that extend seaward from Shag Point as being the petrified hull of this wreck and a nearby rocky promontory as being the body of the canoe’s captain. Their reticulated patterning on the boulders, according to this legend, are the remains of the canoe’s fishing nets.[5] 

We came across a party of Chinese tourists,no wedding dresses this time though, (the weather was hardly Instagram friendly).

NZ Moeraki boulders chinese tourists

We debated why they felt the need to wear face masks, we wondered if it a cultural thing, but whatever we were wondering in November 2019  it seems rather irrelevant now.

Moeraki Boulders 5

I guess there are no flights of Chinese tourist arriving in New Zealand,  it will be a hard hit for the tourist economy of South Island. But needs most certainly must.  The overshoes, and the rain coat, with a kind of visor hood, was something we’d not encountered before.

One of the party took a shine to Tom,  and wanted a souvenir holiday photo, he willingly obliged

Moeraki Boulders_

We were soon alone on the beach, and Tom couldn’t resist.  I think the tide had turned.

Moeraki Boulders 4

*what chance is there of ever finding forgotten chocolate treats in our car?